Item descriptions

Field names Descriptions
Classification: There are four classifications in this field. They are: Prisoner of war, Internee, Airman, and PWJM.
Identification number: PWJA / PWJA (USA):

Japanese prisoners of war were captured either by Australian Forces or US Forces. Those captured by Australian Forces were identified as PWJA, and those by US Forces were identified as PWJA (USA).

Identification numbers of  internees included alphabetical codes which indicated places of arrest.

Internees – Japanese interned in Australia
QJ – Queensland
WJ – Western Australia
NJ – New South Wales
VJ – Victoria
SJ – South Australia
DJ – Northern Territory (Darwin)

Internees – Japanese interned from places outside Australia
JJ – Dutch East Indies (Indonesia)
CJ – New Caledonia
HJ – New Hebrides
NZJ – New Zealand
MJ – New Guinea

*Identification numbers for female internees included an F after the area where they were arrested.   e.g.   WJF, QJF, IJF, CJF.

Surname: Surnames are written in capital letters. In the case of Chinese or Korean names, their Romanised names are used.
Other names: Other names are written in small letters.
Plate name: The name recorded on the grave plate in the cemetery. In case of discrepancies with other records, it is marked with an asterisk (*).
AKA (Also Known As): When a POW was found to have used a false name by the Australian authorities, that name is recorded in this field. Misspelled and mistyped names in the records and on grave plates are also recorded in this field. When signatures in Kanji characters were available, they were used as a basis for identifying correct names and their pronunciations.
Name in Kanji: Some POWs and civilian internees signed their documents in Kanji characters.
Grave location: The location number in the cemetery plot diagram.
Date of birth: Some records only indicate the year of birth or age at the time of death.
Place of birth: In the Japanese database, only prefectural names are given. Please check the English database for further details.
Private address: In the Japanese database, only prefectural names are given. Please check the English database for further details. For civilian internees, their addresses indicate their residential addresses in the countries they had migrated to at the outbreak of war.
Business address: In the Japanese database, only prefectural names are given. Please check the English database for further details.
Military rank: Military ranks for prisoners of war.
Unit regimental number: Unit and regimental numbers for prisoners of war.
Date of capture: For prisoners of war, the date when they were captured on the battlefield is recorded in this field. For civilian internees, almost all were arrested as soon as the war broke out; however in some cases, it took some time before they were detained by the authorities.
Place of capture: Place where either the prisoner of war or the civilian internee was captured.
Reason for internment: Civilian internees were detained because they were either Japanese nationals, had Japanese ancestry or were considered to be Japanese sympathisers. Taiwanese and Korean internees were also detained as Taiwan and the Korean Peninsular were then under the rule of Japan.
Camp interned: Names of the permanent camps where individuals were kept are recorded in this field. Civilians were initially sent to local police detention blocks or other equivalent facilities, then sent to staging camps, and finally to their designated permanent camps. In some cases, they went through several staging camps before reaching their final camps.
Date interned: For prisoners of war, this date refers to the date when the responsibility for them was handed over to the Australian authorities. For civilian internees, this date normally refers to the date when they reached their final permanent camps.
Trade or occupation: For prisoners of war, this file records their occupations before they joined the military. In the case of civilian internees, this file usually indicates the occupation they held in places they had migrated to before the war.
Length of residence in Australia: This field refers to the length of residence at the places where settlers had lived before the war. This field applies only to civilian internees.
Date of entry: There are two kinds of dates used in this field. The first category is for those who were brought to Australia for detention: POWs and civilian internees who were transferred from overseas. The second group consists of long term residents of Australia. Their dates refer to when they first arrived in Australia before the war.
Port of disembarkation: There are two types of information used in this field. The first category is for those who were brought to Australia for detention: POWs and civilian internees who were transferred from overseas. The second group consisted of long term residents in Australia. In their case, the name of the port refers to where they disembarked on arrival in Australia.
Ship: There are two types of information used in this field. Either names of ships which carried captured civilian internees and POWs to Australia from elsewhere, or names of ships on which early migrants reached Australia before the war.
Personal effects: In the cases of internees who were transferred from overseas, little information is available, whereas extensive information was recorded for some internees who were residents of Australia. There are also discrepancies in description details on the part of the recording officers.
Nationality: Even though Korea and Taiwan were under the rule of Japan at the time of the war, those from Korea and Taiwan were recorded as Korean and Formosan, respectively.
Marital status: Unmarried, married or widowed.
Next of kin: Name of next of kin.
Address of next of kin: In the Japanese database, prefectural names are recorded in this field. For further details, please consult the English database.
Mother’s maiden name: Some did not remember or know their mothers’ maiden names and only gave her first name, and some gave her married name.
Identification: Weight, height and other physical characteristics. In the Japanese database, the weight and height were converted to kilograms and centimetres.
Movement report: Movement summaries are recorded in this file, including camp transfers, hospitalisations and detentions within the camps.
Cause of death: In the Japanese database, concise descriptions of the causes are recorded. Please check the English database for further details.
Place of first burial: When a prisoner of war or civilian internee died in the camp, he/she was buried in a cemetery nearby. When the body was cremated, the ashes were sent to Barmera War Cemetery after the war to be interred there.
Extra information: This field records information which may be helpful for further research.